We have the technology: Skincare regimen edition (BB or CC edit)
April 26, 2015 7:35 AM   Subscribe

I am reviewing my skincare regimen. I am intrigued by Beauty/Blemish Balm or Color Correcting Creams.

Background: I am befuddled and confused by the superior, alien technology of cosmetics, cosmeceuticals and other strikeforce level personal care. I gird my woman loins when entering Sephora or drug store because of choice paralysis.

Present regimen: 1-2x a week Clarisonic; daily regimen is oil cleanse method (jojoba or old school cold cream), followed with Neutrogena acne preventative lotion on nose area (removes blackheads like a treat), Dr. Gross serum on blemish areas, L'oreal Sublime sunscreen, and finally Olay Total Effects. Color correction is with MAC tinted moisturizer strategically used. Whew!

Problem: Evening out skin tone and reducing my skincare steps. I have some redness around the nasal area; due to pregnancy, I have a shadowy upper lip and just plain old age spots.

  1. Do I need a BB or CC?
  2. Which brands do you recommend for my SE Asian skintype? Sources to get your recommendations?
  3. Can the regimen be improved in any manner? Product suggestions welcome, including who you trust for an on-site inspection. I am nary of going to the department store counter because, those are vendor specific and their goal is to get me into the whole product/belief system
I have been a faithful sunscreen user. No wrinkles for a woman of my age and the ladies at the Dr. Gross stand said that I had "plump, youthful bounce to my skin" (I have no idea what that meant beyond it being good.) It is A LOT of work to look like you do not use product!

tl;dr: Improve my skincare routine.
posted by jadepearl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
BB and CC are simply marketing terms for one-step makeup substances that fall somewhere between tinted moisturizer and foundation. If you already have a preferred tinted moisturizer and sunscreen that don't cause skin irritation, it might be best to avoid the risk of further irritation from experimenting with new products.

It's possible also that the Clarisonic device paired with salicylic acid treatment are irritating your skin, causing those red spots. You don't need to physically and chemically exfoliate. If your skin were my skin, I would stop using the Clarisonic and stick to chemical exfoliation alone, which I've found exfoliates both more gently and more evenly. I have seborrheic dermatitis that gets particularly bad around my nose, and I've found that less is more -- keep it moisturized, use cleanser sparingly and don't irritate it more than it already is.

As for sourcing, I buy the BB cream of my preference from Amazon or from SE Asian sellers on eBay.
posted by theraflu at 7:56 AM on April 26, 2015 [10 favorites]

Sounds like melasma, maybe? If that's what it is, these are appropriate treatments. Maybe see a dermatologist.

I don't know about BB creams; I'd rather target each issue specifically.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:16 AM on April 26, 2015

(Re the upper lip and spots, for melasma. The redness - is that because of dilated capillaries or is it more just irritation?)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:19 AM on April 26, 2015

I have had excellent success with the salespeople at Sephora. They are incredibly knowledgeable about the products, and helpful. You can try on anything. They always listen and give advice based on that -- so if you tell them that you are overwhelmed with the number of choices, this is what you do, and this is the problem you are having, their job becomes finding the #1 recommendation for you, and letting you try it on. They often have sample sizes by the register so you can try a product without committing.

Just an anecdote about how spot on they are -- my boyfriend wanted to buy me perfume for V-day, so I suggested Sephora and vaguely said I wanted something "light, fruity, and subtle." He ended up getting something that I had a trial size of and adored, but hadn't specifically asked for.. just because the person helping him knew scents that fit that vague description that he almost certainly altered when he told them. They also sent him home with a couple samples (including what he bought) so if I hadn't liked it I would have been able to try it before opening the full size).

Long story short, I think they can help you, and doing so in person will both allow them to see the problem, and allow you to test products before buying.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

BB creams and CC creams are tinted moisturizers. They won't provide anything like the SPF on the label. They also won't give much coverage if your concern is pigmentation.

I hear Korean brands provide more coverage, and there is a brand called Dr Jart which is quite opaque.

However if I were you I would take some Ocean Potion SPF 45 facial sunscreen and use that, 10 mins after moisturizing. Use a DRY cosmetic sponge to smooth it out.

Pigmentation issues are for a dermatologist to solve I think.
posted by tel3path at 10:33 AM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Etude House or Dr. Jart for BB/CC. They are in fact tinted moisturizers, and the Korean brands do better with keeping the SPF promise, but always have a moisturizer underneath with more SPF. The two don't "add up", so make sure the one underneath is high.

Pigmentation is a MD issue.

As much as people sing the praises of Clarisonic, I am more in favor of chemical exfoliation, on the recommendation of many derms. Mechanical exfoliation can leave microscopic tears an scratches in the skin. Lactic acid, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid (depending on the %) all are less hard on the skin than salicylic acid. I am also a fan of the retinols. But ALL of this depends on seeing a derm.
posted by oflinkey at 11:10 AM on April 26, 2015

BB/CC creams try to be a bit of a one stop shop. They normally try to offer skincare, very light coverage make up and low SPF. So if your skin is normal, fairly evenly pigmented, you spend little time outside and don't need powerful sun protection and you like fairly sheer make up they may allow you to remove some steps from your routine. Most BB/CC creams have optical blurrers and such that help even out the look and colour of your skin even with fairly sheer cover.

Personally, I have combination/oily skin and find that they don't have enough longevity on their own. With my skin I don't really need to use a moisturiser but will use SPF if I'll be outside. My facial sun protection of choice is Clinique City Block. Turns out the stuff also has amazing primer properties because all of a sudden my CC cream stays put all day. Furthermore, it magically becomes buildable and I can get more coverage where I need it. So if I go down that route I skip the under eye highlighting concealer and unless I have prominent blemishes I wish to conceal I'll be done with my base and move on to the rest of my make up.

But I am just as likely to reach for more targeted skin care (which doesn't seem to give the CC cream any longevity) and for a lasting foundation that offers medium coverage and will stay put all day. I have both options sitting in my make up cabinet and use both regularly. YMMV.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:17 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

BB and CC creams are nice but I think of them as makeup rather than skincare. I use them as an alternative to foundation makeup but they don't do much for my oily, pigmented, cowhide-like skin.

I manage hyper-pigmentation (melasma) with at-home lactic acid peels and serum from Makeup Artist's Choice. Lately I am using their Fade Peel (which is amazing for melasma but my skin is not sensitive and I can tolerate the effects). I also like to experiment with their various serums and retinols.

Don't know about redness. I recommend sending them an email and ask for suggestions. Include info on the products you are using now. I've used their products for years and have had good results.
posted by Soda-Da at 1:23 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

I would skip the over the counter products and go straight to the dermatologists for a prescription retinol serum or cream. Based on your ethnicity and hyperpigmentation, I'm going to assume you ahave medium to dark brown complexion, which in my experience gets much better results willthose products. OTC products don't usually have enough strength to effectively even out/removethe larger amounts of melanin found in brown skin. Plus a cc or by cream will only cover up rather than address the problem. I've had a lot of success with removing acne pentatonic with retin-A and tazorac. Plus they smooth out skin texture so that when you do use makeup it applies even smoother. With insurance mine was cheaper than what I'd paid on sephora and dept. Store products. Of you can find a dermatologists who specializes or skilled in working with darker or 'ethnic' complexions (which can be very difficult) even better!
posted by CosmicSeeker42 at 6:38 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

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